Painting moths and butterflies larger than life with Andrew Fitchett

Ref: S2D13168

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About this course

Create an accurate, enlarged painting of a moth or butterfly in oil or acrylic paint. Learn how to enlarge your image from initial drawings and successfully transfer it onto your canvas or paper, then apply glorious colour and texture to bring your painting to life.

Course Description

This structured course guides you through the key techniques to create an enlarged colour painting, approximately 40cm x 50cm of a moth or butterfly, working from museum specimens, reference books and online sources.

You will begin by learning methods of measurement and observation to create an accurate drawing of your chosen subject in an enlarged form. You will then learn how to efficiently transfer your drawing onto your canvas or paper. Working with painting materials of your choice, you will apply colour to your image, exploring methods for creating texture, pattern and accurate colour mixing.

The course is a tutored, step-by-step journey from drawings and their enlargement techniques, leading to a colourful, textured final painting. There are structured demonstrations of all the techniques by your tutor and regular group reviews at key stages throughout the course. The emphasis is on learning drawing techniques and the manipulation of your drawings, in this case enlargement, to work towards a single, finished colour piece, approximately 40cm x 50cm.

By the end of the course, you will have gained essential knowledge of how to plan and approach the making of a colourful, enlarged image of a moth or butterfly, have an understanding of the anatomy of your subject and be able to use what you have learned to inform and improve your work. You will be able to apply your experience of materials and techniques to further enhance and develop your general artistic skills.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The College will provide some A2 paper and A3 tracing paper, a HB and 4B pencil plus some moth and butterfly specimens for reference purposes.

What students need to bring

  • A painting surface approximately 40cm x 50cm (canvas for those using oils or acrylic, or paper for watercolours, pastels, inks, etc.)
  • A range of oil or acrylic paints – your tutor recommends a minimum basic range of 10 colours such as: Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Phthalo Blue, Sap Green, Viridian, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Ivory Black, Titanium White
  • A range of brushes, including a No.1 and No.2 size fine brush
  • A palette or similar for colour mixing
  • A container for water (acrylic) or odourless thinning medium ie Zest it (oils)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A wide selection of drawing media, papers, canvases, sketchbooks, oil paints and mediums (such as Zest it odourless thinner), acrylic paints and mediums, watercolours, gouache, pastels, brushes and palettes.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Andrew Fitchett portrait

Andrew Fitchett

Andrew Fitchett is a practicing painter working in oils and West Dean tutor since 2006. Since his career in Advertising where he ran creative courses Andrew paints and teaches from his studio in East Sussex. Andrew's work is in private collections across Europe.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.